How to Eat Healthy at Work and Beat the Afternoon Slump

Two friends eating healthy food at work.

It’s not always easy to eat a balanced and healthy diet. Especially at work. One meeting follows the other and deadlines are looming. We have a few tips for you on how to still eat healthy at work despite the time pressure.

Two friends preparing a healthy breakfast.

Don’t skip breakfast
To avoid hunger in the morning, you should eat breakfast before work. Skipping the first meal of the day tends to cause you to eat more at lunch. Plus, on an empty stomach, we are more likely to choose high-calorie foods. How about having a bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit or protein pancakes for breakfast instead?

Meal prepping is key
Be smart and bring a homemade lunch with you to work. That way you have a healthy lunch with you and you don’t have to run out to a restaurant or fast food chain when you get hungry. Pre-cooked meals tend to be more balanced and contain fewer calories. Salads with quinoa or couscous make great office lunches.

Tired and worn out? Next time don’t supersize
Is all you want to do after lunch is take a nap? Then maybe you ate too much at noon. A big serving of simple carbohydrates (like pasta or sandwiches made with white toast) makes your blood sugar spike – only to be followed by a sudden drop shortly afterwards. This leaves you feeling sluggish. Fatty foods like burgers and fries can also cause this effect. A light and nutritious meal is always the better option.

Two friends drinking a healthy smoothy in the kitchen.

Water: Don’t forget about hydration
Your body needs plenty of fluids. Especially when you need to concentrate. Do you often forget to hydrate regularly? Then put a pitcher of water or tea on your desk within easy reach. Is the pitcher still full in the afternoon? Then set a reminder on your smartphone or put a sticky note on the edge of your computer screen with the words “Drink more!” on it. That way you are sure to remember.

Snacks to curb your hunger
We often start to feel hungry again in the afternoon. Most of the time, we reach for something sweet in our desk drawer. What’s the best way to avoid these empty calories? Get rid of the chocolate and sweets! Prepare a couple of small snacks at home to help you get through long afternoons. For example, what about a mix of dried fruit and unsalted nuts? But be mindful of portion size, you’ll be surprised how just a handful can really curb your cravings.

In addition, many offices provide their employees with fresh fruit and vegetables. An apple with some nut butter is a great source of energy, too.

Your laptop is for work, not lunch
Don’t eat your lunch in front of the laptop. A short break at lunch with your coworkers helps you focus better in the afternoon and builds team spirit. If you don’t pay attention while eating, you are more likely to eat bigger portions and more calories. And if you have to eat lunch in front of your computer, then take a 30-minute stroll afterwards in the fresh air.



Julia Denner Julia is a dietician and sports nutritionist. Before she began her position as Communications Specialist at Runtastic, she spent several years working as a dietician in the surgical department at Vienna General Hospital. Julia is passionate about inspiring others to eat a healthy, balanced diet. View all posts by Julia Denner